Good news from the Illinois legislature: Anti-gay bill defeated in committee

Yesterday, we wrote about the effort by State Senator David Koehler (D-Peoria) to attach an anti-gay amendment to a bill that would aid blind people (seriously, the bill would amend the “White Cane Law.”) Koehler’s amendment would have allowed adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples.

Today, the nasty amendment was defeated.

Since Phil Reese tipped us off about this development yesterday — and did an amazing job of rallying the LGBT netroots — we’ll let him share the news:

When you put your mind to it, you can achieve just about anything!

Thanks to hundreds of calls being made by people all over Illinois and all over the nation, the Senate panel in charge of overseeing SB 1123 rejected the discriminatory amendment to the bill, and sent the anti-gay set packing out of Springfield. The vote was very close: seven to six with one abstention.

“This is a huge victory for the LGBTQ community and families across Illinois,” Anthony Martinez, Executive Director of The Civil Rights Agenda, said in a press release late Wednesday morning. “This is also a huge win for the tens of thousands of children that are in the adoption and foster system and need loving families. We applaud the members of the Executive Committee that voted no on this bill. They have shown that discrimination in any form is unacceptable.” Full disclosure: I sit on the Advisory Board for TCRA.

Great work to all involved.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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